Not so long ago, society frowned on tattoos. Today, we accept and welcome them as part of our culture. We use them to tell stories, memorialize events, and turn our bodies into living works of art. Over the years, the internet has unleashed a torrent of creativity and tattoo designs. Many are even available for free if you know where to look.
Here are sites for free tattoo designs and new ideas you should look into.
Since 1998, Tattoo.com has been one of the web’s most popular destinations for all things tattoo. The site runs regular tattoo-related news articles and interviews, artist spotlights, and a section for user-submitted tattoo pics.
Creating an account allows you access to the site’s community features where you can save your favorite designs, leave reviews, and upload your own photos. Their regularly updated YouTube channel features interviews with musicians and other notable tattoo aficionados about their ink.
This blog highlights some of the best tattoo designs and tattoo templates. Themes like heart, elephant, or mandala tattoos abound, and every post also provides a bit of background to the tattoo type. Their best-of lists highlight some of the most intricate and outstanding tattoos by year.
You can filter the designs by male, female, amazing, and unique tattoos. The site hasn’t been updated since mid-2017 but is still an excellent resource for anyone interested in designing their own tattoo.
The last few years have seen Instagram evolve from a photo sharing site, dominated by millennial selfies and brunch photos, to one of the most significant visual media platforms. In 2017, Instagram added the ability to follow hashtags, putting your interests right into the main feed. The photo-sharing social network has since become one of the best places to discover new artists and tattoo shops.
Established and up-and-coming artists post photos of their work, and users regularly tag their favorite artists after going under the needle. Instagram isn’t just limited to #ink photos though, with designers frequently posting art and tattoo designs. They also make it easy to save your favorite images into collections, readily accessible from your profile page.
Tattoodo is a social network designed exclusively for tattoo lovers. Co-founded by Ami James of Miami Ink fame, Tattoodo is one of the most visited tattoo sites in the world. The site, along with accompanying mobile apps, boasts an impressive 30 million users. Having found international acclaim through his TV work, James set out to develop the complete tattoo resource where users can upload and browse ink pics, find and follow artists, view tattoo-related videos, and read interviews and guides.
Tattoodo is also a booking platform for reputable tattoo studios around the world. Studios are listed by location, and consultations can be booked directly through the website or mobile app. This feature also makes it easier to find safe and well-respected studios for your next inking session away from home.
For many people, tattoos are personal works of body art, so an off-the-shelf approach doesn’t work for everyone. If you want to create your own tattoo, but aren’t an artist yourself, then Custom Tattoo Design may be what you need. Starting with a brief description of your design their team provides an estimate of the cost. After agreeing on the estimate, you go onto select an artist to work on your design.
Custom Tattoo Design (CTD) go out of their way to make sure you are happy with the end result. Before you receive the final design, the artist sends you a rough sketch to approve. If you aren’t satisfied with their design, CTD will give you a full refund of your deposit. The final design comes with a certificate of authenticity releasing the copyright from the artist so you can get your custom tattoo inked.
Tattoo Ideas doesn’t feature interviews with tattooed celebrities. It doesn’t produce videos and hasn’t got affiliations with big-name artists. Instead, they keep things simple and focus on the tattoos themselves. The site is a gallery of user-submitted tattoo designs, body ink pics, and some of the best tattoo ideas.
You can either browse the full gallery, or filter by section. The sections are reasonably specific too; there are areas for the sleeve, shoulder, geometric, and even funny tattoos. Like many inking sites, they also offer a bit of guidance on what to consider when designing your own tattoo.
Reddit is one of the most visited websites in the world, with over 234 million monthly active users. While some of the site’s subreddits have been the source of controversy, they are also some of the best online communities. This is also true of the tattooing community, with /r/tattoos among the most active on the site.
This subreddit is strictly moderated to ensure high-quality photos and posts. Users can post their tattoos, so long as they credit the artist and studio. If you’re an artist hoping to showcase your work, you can become verified with the moderators.
You may want to discuss all things tattoo instead, in which case you’d find yourself at home on /r/tattoo. Likewise, if you’re interested in tattoo drawing ideas and the best tattoo designs, then you may also want to check out /r/TattooDesigns.
The team behind the tattoo website Ink Trend created Ink Generator. Using the options on the left-hand pane, you can enter text, change fonts and colors to produce a digital mock-up of your tattoo and there is even the option to view the design on a man’s back for a rough idea of how the tattoo would look.
Although this tool is a little simplistic, it is a reasonably easy way to check out the feasibility of a worded tattoo.
Although tattoo photos are easy to come across, high-quality digital designs are more elusive. However, the vector graphics website Vecteezy has an extensive collection of free and premium tattoo templates. You can search the site for anything that piques your interest, although ‘tattoo’ returns over two thousands results.
Filter the images by license type. Standard licenses are submitted by the community and are free to use. You can also purchase premium images by using credits or download them for free as part of a recurring Vecteezy subscription.
You’ve probably heard tattoo horror stories of ink gone wrong or someone’s deep regret. You can be put off by this fear of getting it wrong because tattoos are permanent. Inkbox provides an alternative with their temporary tattoos. Traditional temporary tattoos are stickers that often fade immediately or refuse to correctly apply to your skin.
Inkbox temporary tattoos cause the ink to enter the epidermis, but not as deep as regular tattoos. As the skin regenerates, the Inkbox tattoo will fade. With an estimated lifetime of between 8 and 18 days, they are the perfect workaround for anyone nervous of the long-term commitment of a tattoo.
Are You Ready for Your New Tattoo?
Tattoos are rapidly becoming a widely-accepted part of our mainstream culture. From celebrities and musicians, all the way to your co-workers, people are expressing themselves through their ink. Of course, as tattoos are a permanent addition to your body, it’s important to take time settling on your favorite design.
That’s only one part of the journey though, as you still need to know what to expect and how best to prepare. Fortunately, you can check these sites for everything you need to know before your first tattoo.